Atlanta police were investigating a double-shooting early Saturday that left a 2-year-old dead and her infant brother hospitalized.
The shooting took place around 1:40 a.m. when someone fired at least two bullets through the bottom of the door of a red-brick house in south Atlanta, authorities said.
The bullets struck Ty-Teyanna Motley and her one-year-old brother, Isaiah, who were sleeping with their grandmother in a sofa bed behind the door, said Charlie Howard, the victims’ uncle.
Ty-Teyanna was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The boy was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Police said he was stable but in critical condition. His uncle said he suffered a bullet wound near his spine.
“We never had any problems with anybody,” Howard said. “Whoever did that was a coward. My niece was only 2 years old. If they had a problem, they should just tell us.”
Howard was in the basement of the home sleeping with his family when the bullets shattered the silence. He rushed upstairs and found his nephew screaming and soaked in blood. His niece was unresponsive.
Police said they had no leads but said the incident did not appear to be the result of a drive-by shooting. They asked the community for tips, but many of the neighbors who gathered around the house Saturday morning could offer little help. Several declined to speak to an AJC reporter.
The little girl’s grandfather, Tommy Wood, described her as a precocious toddler. “If she was out there now, she’d be messing with me,” said Wood, who added that Isaiah had just started to walk. “He was just getting around, just starting to know the family.”
The family urged witnesses to come forward for the sake of the children. “Someone must know something,” Wood said. “They need to find out who did this to this baby.”
As Howard spoke outside the home’s front door, eyeing the array of children’s toys strewn across the lawn, he warily watched each car pass by.
“We’re going to make it. We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “I’m trying to hold it in, because crying isn’t going to bring them back.”
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Channel 2 Action News contributed to this report.